News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, April 10, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Students at Augusta State University are celebrating a milestone this week. Now 40 students can now graduate with the title of author and editor.
It all started in the History of Journalism class at ASU when students got a major assignment.
"A commercially-published book," said local radio reporter Scott Hudson with a smile. "I can imagine the blood draining out of people's faces."
Hudson teamed up with Debbie van Tuyll as senior editor for "Augusta's WGAC Radio: The Voice of the Garden City for Seventy Years."
The students were the authors.
"I don't think they really believed me that they were going to produce a book," said van Tuyll. "But I had already signed the contract. They were going to produce a book."
The History Press was on board. The only challenge was to deliver a 40,000-word book on the history of WGAC.
"I will say it was very intimidating at first," said student Kristin Hawkins. "But who else gets to do this?"
Van Tuyll said that it is rare to see so many students work on a research project together.
"To have them have this that they can take out and show an employer, and say, 'Yes, I know how to edit. You can hire me to be a copy editor. I edited this book,'" she said.
It's an accomplishment that the students can treasure forever.
"It is unheard of to have 40 students that are undergraduate students exit college with not just a degree," Hudson said, "but as published authors."
Their professor divided the chapters among students.
"I was really interested in it," said John-Michael Garner, who tackled the history of talk radio. "I'm from Augusta. I grew up in Augusta. I listened to Austin Rhodes, Harley Drew and Mary Liz Nolan."
All of the proceeds from the book will go back to the local community.
They have decided to donate the money to the ASU Study Abroad program, a scholarship program for women and a small portion will go to the First Saturday Crew, which is made up of a group of volunteers who help keep the city clean.
You can find out more information about the book here.
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